Hall of Fame Laureate – 2017 Horowhenua – Stuart Irons

Hall of Fame Laureate – 2017 Horowhenua – Stuart Irons

Having entrepreneurial blood in his veins, Stuart Irons followed the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Whatever Stuart did was always for the passion.

Born in Foxton in 1942, he grew up spending considerable amounts of time helping his parents in their Foxton Four Square store and learning the tricks of the trade.

After finishing school, he went to work for the BNZ and married Jenny. The couple purchased the Foxton Four Square store from his father in 1974. Now his own boss he had to take his fortune into his own hands, which he did wholeheartedly.

A long business story in Levin started with buying the Levin Self Help Supermarket in 1977. In 1982, they opened the Write Price store in Levin and in 1987 the New World supermarket in Levin.

In 2006, Stuart and Jenny decided it was time to retire and they sold the business. By then, they were one of the bigger employers in the area with over 200 staff.

Stuart’s career also involved him being on the Foodstuffs board of directors from 1986-2005 and chairman of the Board from 1996-2004.

During his 45 years in business, Stuart took a keen interest in the community around him, not only by providing employment but also in various voluntary roles he took on. Those included being a member and chairman of Foxton Primary School Committee, the Manawatu College Board of Governors, a foundation member of the Foxton Tourist and Development Association, and being active in the first Spring Fling promotion, getting Foxton on the map.

Besides being actively involved, Stuart also supported many community groups and organisations financially, especially Horowhenua College, Waiopehu College, Levin Intermediate, and Koputaroa School. One of the major contributions was the support he provided to the new Horowhenua College sports gymnasium.

Stuart is a prime example of a great business leader, recognizing the importance of taking pride in the community he lives in.